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We work on some research problem, obtain some publishable results, then we target an international conference to disseminate the results and methods in, and then there is a 'last' date or deadline.

We submit the complete manuscript to the conference on or before the mentioned deadline of the conference.

Then, suddenly we see the deadlines (both for submission and for the acceptance) continually change over time. For example, in one of the last year's Computer Science conference, the deadlines were changed repeatedly. Please note that the deadlines for submission were getting extended on the very day of the earlier notified deadline, which is another demotivating factor.

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Why might it be happening?

  • Because the targetted number of submissions were not received.
  • The reviewers could not meet the deadlines.
  • Can there be any other reasons than the above two?

I have the following questions:

  • If the conference organizers were not so firm about this stuff, why did they even have an important date page?
  • It is actually frustrating for the authors who have submitted the paper on the first submission dead line and still waiting for 3 months to get the review. This is ridiculously bad for a conference.
  • The papers which are submitted at the last notified deadline will be reviewed in a less productive way. If this is true, then what is the point of having a peer review?
  • In such a scenario, is it advisable to withdraw the paper from the conference?
  • Does it not hamper the quality of the conference as good researchers would not submit to the same conference again in following years?

I believe that this question is not a duplicate of this question.

marked as duplicate by Nate Eldredge, Bob Brown, user3209815, RoboKaren, Massimo Ortolano Jul 19 '17 at 20:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • I've received these "deadline extended" emails from conferences that I've never submitted a paper to and never attended, so apparently they send these emails to a fairly large mailing list. Might they view this as an opportunity to get a little extra publicity, at least in the sense of getting the conference's name into my email list (for a few moments until I delete it)? – Andreas Blass Jul 18 '17 at 19:37
  • I don't think this is an exact duplicate, but there are too many questions for one post. – henning Jul 19 '17 at 8:16
  • PLZ tell me the name of this conference so I could submit my own piece! – High GPA Oct 2 '17 at 5:12

There are basically two approaches for conference deadlines. In my experience, top conferences have a "hard" deadline and do not slip it, and the rest frequently slip it once. Usually the slippage is actually planned, and it's announced pretty far in advance: for instance, a conference might say 2 weeks before its announced deadline that there are actually 3 weeks to go. Sometimes it's a panic because of low submissions, which is probably a bad sign.

Notifications are another story. It's considered poor form to miss the announced deadline, though if the change takes place before submission (delaying both submissions and results) that seems ok: people can choose not to submit. Simply missing and redefining the deadline isn't playing by the rules.

I wouldn't say that the changes to the deadlines are a reason to avoid a conference. Many factors go into the decision about which conference you submit to.

  • The top conferences in my field will often slip by a week or two, but they're relatively small conferences. – David Jul 18 '17 at 19:03
  • +1. But in my experience even high-quality conferences often announce changes to the submission deadlines. – David Ketcheson Jul 18 '17 at 19:03
  • @DavidKetcheson They do, but they do it before time. Not on the last day. I have added this part to the question. And, thanks for editing the earlier question. – Coder Jul 18 '17 at 19:05
  • In CS systems, they have hard deadlines and stick to them. – Fred Douglis Jul 18 '17 at 19:19
  1. There are many reasons why the organizers might extend a submission deadline. You listed two of them. A third reason I suspect might be relatively common is that some conferences have come to expect that they'll have a lot requests for deadline extension. The program committee (PC) doesn't want to argue with a dozen authors about extensions, so the PC gives an initial deadline that is made artificially early with the expectation that they'll give everyone a 1-2 week extension and not have to argue individual cases.

  2. It would be extremely frustrating to have a conference submission extended by 2.5 months. My experience is that a week or two is not unusual, but ~10 weeks is unexpected and unprofessional. If this is a middle-tier conference I'd think about targeting another venue- if it's a top conference I don't know what you'd do other than voice your displeasure. There might be extenuating circumstances on any given year, but if this happens every year it'd be a definite red flag for me.

  3. I don't get the impression that papers submitted later will be reviewed differently from those submitted early. The conference model I'm familiar with is that all submissions are received before any are sent out for review, so all are reviewed at roughly the same time.

    If that weren't the case it would be completely plausible that the time difference would skew reviewer or PC opinions.

  • +1. Answers to your comment: 1. Many top and middle tier conferences in CS do not consider every author requests. 2. yes, such a huge extension is not normal and frustrating. I had emailed the PC chair the same and got no reply back on this. 3. Would not the earlier reviewers feel that there is enough time to submit the review and do some more lingering on? – Coder Jul 18 '17 at 19:08

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